Fine Art and Film Under One Roof
The Berkeley Arts Museum and its sister institution, the Pacific Film Archive, just opened their new home on the west side of the campus. In the timeframe of SORMA, deep-dive retrospecties of Wim Wenders, Seijun Suzuki, and Mexican noir will be in progress. Guided tours of their inaugural exhibition, Architecture of Life, will also be available.
Avast Ye to the Berkeley Rep, Matey
Treasure Island, ho! The Berkeley Repertory Theatre presents Mary Zimmerman’s staging of the Robert Louis Stevenson swashbuckler throughout May. The San Francisco Chronicle praised it for “a great deal of beauty and wallop amid its focused storytelling, adding, “This production, aside from being a faithful and skillful adaption of the book, puts the audience in the center of the action in ways that film and television could never muster.” Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Buried things of a different sort will be unearthed in the West Coast premiere of For Peter Pan On Her 70th Birthday, a Sarah Ruhl and Les Waters collaboration in which five siblings are driven to reconnect with childhood dreams and confront the inevitability of the passage of time after their father’s death.
Here’s the treasure map to 2025 Addison Street in Berkeley’s downtown / arts district, a somewhat ambitious walk or short taxi ride from Clark Kerr Campus.
Espresso and Folk Music, A Famous Couple Now On Their Third House Together
Across the street from the Berkeley Rep is the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, in its new home at 2020 Addison Street. Since the 60s, it’s been a destination for artists who are world-famous (or hope to be), and who work in, or are influenced by, folk/roots traditions.
SORMA West 2016 comes just after the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival (which has its climax the night of Sunday the 22nd). Wednesday the 25th — conveniently enough, SORMA’s explore-on-your-own night — features a concert by the Krüger Brothers.
Tuesday the 24th is open-mic night if you’ve got some vocal or instrumental chops of your own…
An All-Ages Destination for World Music and Dance
Another legendary Berkeley venue is Ashkenaz Music and Dance Club. At 1317 San Pablo Avenue it is more taxi than walking distance from Clark Kerr Campus. Their May calendar features an eclectic selection of performers, as well as classes, some of which welcome drop-in participation and/or beginners.
A Perennial Favorite:
The UC Botanical Garden
At once a research and teaching facility and a favorite beauty spot open to the public, the 34-acre (18-hectare) garden has something to see in every season. SORMA is being held at the height of spring after a rainy “El Niño” winter, so many of their more than 12,000 kinds of plants ought to be putting on quite a show.
Check their calendar for special events in the timeframe of SORMA.
Touring Our “City of Learning”
A walking tour of the campus is another classic. The widely varied architectural styles, along with the layout and horticulture, represent a living history of their disciplines, from Frederick Law Olmstead’s original vision through John Galen Howard and Thomas Church, a history still being written.
Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue
One of Berkeley’s entertainment and shopping districts is just downhill from Clark Kerr Campus, across the street from the south side of the main campus, along Bancroft Way. Coffee shops and restaurants are abundant along Bancroft Way, and soon you come to an important juncture. The shops and scene of ever-colorful Telegraph Avenue extend to the south. Just to the north, lively Sproul Plaza is a signature gateway to the campus.